I've never said it here, but I'm an obsessor. For me it's never enough just having a plain battle grid: if there's an alcove in the northern wall of the chamber, there should actually be an alcove in the northern wall of the chamber. In a combat encounter, such is my view, the environment should be as concrete as possible in order to play strategy.
This, of course, is a matter of personal taste. For some DMs imagination is the best prop. For others, it's not a mere prop, but the engine of the game itself. Even though I put roleplay first in any context, in combat it's necessary to make it easy for players to take quick decisions in order to not hinder action synergy and leave more room for roleplay even inside heated combat. Less imagining how tall is an abstract mound equals more imagining how you jump on the orc's shield while driving your shortsword in his eye...
Again, this is my philosophy. It's by no means "correctness", "absoulteness" or "y'all-should-do-this-ness".
So, in order to fulfill my own very own stndards, I had to work a little bit with my daft hands (yes, I really meant "daft", not "deft": I'm specially clumsy when it comes to crafting stuff) to create interchangeable scenery for my campaigns. Well, only for the parts where I can't use printed maps, that is.
This actually means "Get to know your way around cardstock", because it's the simplest, cheapest way I've found to craft stuff for D&D. In this case, I made blocks of several shapes and sizes like these ones:
The proccess is quite simple (but a bit awkward): in a large piece of cardstock draw "unfolded" versions of the cubes and then, with an utility knife, cut the shapes and then "fold" the shape and bind it with something (I used my loyal scotch tape). May take quite a while to make enough cubes for a single location, though.
Anyways, I recommend, if you're going to use the cardstock cubes, to plan what shapes and quantities you'll need while planning your campaign. For example, here's what area 3 for the Kobold Hall mini-adventure in the Dungeon Master's guide 1 looks like:
I indeed used a Dungeon Tile from the Witchlight Fens set for the green-goo pool. The walls are marked as 10 ft. high, so that means 2x2x2 squares cubes. The sarcophagi should be a bit shorter, but that can also be tweaked if you like. As you can see, not much cubes are needed and some will most likely be used several times (this mini-adventure uses the same shapes a lot). So, again, I recommend thinking in advance what shapes will you need in your encounters.
Here's the same setting from above:
Yes: I even made stairs. These are actually a bit of a nightmare to craft, because every "stepped" square must be divided by two, i.e., each square contains two steps of a set of stairs, so, for a 10 ft. (two squares) set of stairs, you need to divide and fold four actual squares. Also, be careful, because the steps may be too small for a medium sized miniature to stand on them (unless you find some way -like a bit of tape under the miniature base). The simplest option is to use straight cardstock ramps instead of steps.
Here's the scenario as seen from behind:
So yes, in conclusion, I'm an obsessor. But my players seem to enjoy combats with 3D environs better, and spend less time asking "How high was that, again?" and more time saying things like "I swirl my sword, a thundering sound and lightning jump with the mere friction of the blade on the air", so I'll say it's all worth it.
Just one more thing: if anyone can come up with a way to craft doors that don't get in the way and can be used with this kind of cubes, PLEASE let me know. I'll be forever grateful.